EXPANDED MIRANDA RIGHTS FOR JUVENILES

In Miranda v. Arizona, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution’s guarantee against self-incrimination required police to warn criminal suspects who are in custody and subject to interrogation about their rights to remain silent and to consult with an attorney. In subsequent opinions, the U.S. Supreme Court clarified that whether a suspect was “in custody” for Miranda purposes depended on the objective circumstances of the interrogation, and whether a reasonable person would have felt free to leave.

On June 16, 2011, in J. D. B. v. North Carolina the U.S. Supreme Court held that juveniles are entitled to expanded Miranda protection. In this 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court explains that a reasonable child may feel pressured to submit to police questioning where a reasonable adult feels free to end an interrogation. Therefore, although it may not be determinative, a juvenile suspect’s age is a factor police must consider when deciding whether to give a Miranda warning.